Enthusiasm Gap

Yikes! I didn’t realize how strongly so many folks felt about this year’s presidential election until I wrote in my e-newsletter (subscribe at http://www.citizenoutreach.com) on Tuesday of my indecision between voting for Republican John McCain or Libertarian Bob Barr. In all honesty, the overwhelming majority of emails I received urged a vote for McCain. However…

Pain for McCain Remains in Campaign

By Chuck Muth

Yikes! I didn’t realize how strongly so many folks felt about this year’s presidential election until I wrote in my e-newsletter (subscribe at http://www.citizenoutreach.com) on Tuesday of my indecision between voting for Republican John McCain or Libertarian Bob Barr. In all honesty, the overwhelming majority of emails I received urged a vote for McCain. However…

Not with much enthusiasm.

Let me share with you a collection of comments from all the emails I received with a decidedly disturbing common thread. See how long it takes for you to discern, as they say on “Fringe,” the pattern…

“I think I’ll overcome my gag reflex and vote for McCain.”

“Chuck, please vote for McCain. While he isn’t my choice, he is so much better than Obama.”

“I would like to beg for your vote for McCain. Although I am not happy with him on so many fronts, I believe he will be so much better than Obama.”

“This election reminds me of the vote they had in the old Soviet Union between Stalin and Trotsky. Trotsky was ‘too radical,’ so the vote went to the more ‘reasonable’ Stalin. . . . Vote for McCain, down a couple of cool ones, and hope for the best.”

“Hold your nose—and vote McCain!”

“I was set to do a write-in for Ron Paul but, living in Virginia, which also is in play, when I actually stepped into the booth I voted for McCain. I despise him and had vowed not to support him, but I couldn’t risk an Obama victory in my state.”

“God knows John McCain’s not the perfect candidate. But, Chuck, think of the alternative.”

“Vote McCain. I am with you 100% about McCain being bad for the conservative movement. . . . I am not a McCain supporter, but the damage that Obama could do in one term with a Democratic and lunatic liberal Congress far outweighs any lack of enthusiasm I have for McCain.”

“I have complained for years that I wanted a choice in my elections. Now, I have one – between a probable evil and an assured one. That is why I will hold my nose and vote McCain/Palin.”

“I would urge you to suck it up and vote for McCain. There are so many of us who are literally ‘holding our noses’ and voting this year.”

“I’m not at ALL happy with McCain, but…”

“Early on I realized that voting for Barr or any other candidate beside McCain would just be making it possible for Obama to be president. Not that I wanted McCain to be president either, but in this case it was the lesser of 2 evils.”

“As awful as it is, you only have one choice. You must vote John McCain.”

“As a Libertarian who lives in California – which is overwhelmingly for Obama – I have the opportunity to cast my vote for Barr. However, YOU DO NOT! You MUST vote for McCain, for we cannot have Nevada going for Obama.”

“I am not a McCain fan for the same reasons as you, but I’ve decided I have to vote for his ticket.”

“We conservatives really have to ‘hold our noses’ and vote for McCain. I…don’t dislike Senator McCain as much as I used to – especially when I think of what we will have when Obama wins.”

“Look, I am not a big McCain fan. But I love America and want a country that is safe for my grandchildren. Please cast your vote for McCain.”

“Although we share your concerns, and Sen. McCain is not our ideal choice either, but for the good of the nation, we cannot waste our vote.”

“I’ve been where you are with this indecision 2008. I’ve never been a fan of John McCain. I also certainly don’t like Obama. I decided on McCain over Barr…because of his choice of Palin.”

“I have to hold my nose to vote for McCain, but I see no other viable alternative.”

“When Senator McCain got the GOP nod I was annoyed that this so called conservative had gotten the nod. I was almost going to cast my vote for a third party candidate.”

“Unfortunately, for many of us, McCain was selected. He’s the only viable candidate that can keep Obama out of our White House. I have already voted for McCain ONLY because it was a vote against Obama!”

“As I see it, this election has degraded into not who you vote for, but who you vote against.”

“This election is not a choice between two outstanding candidates, so it became a choice between the lesser evils. We finally agreed between ourselves that Obama as president would be a total disaster and the possible destruction of the American way of life, so we voted for McCain.”


“I know what you’re going through, believe me. I’m not a big McCain person myself… I take the lesser of the two evils and am voting for McCain.”

“I, too, like you had a very hard time voting for McCain. However, in this election, I had to vote for McCain…”

“I’ve also never been a huge fan of McCain, but Chuck, now is not the time to risk the country – OUR country – going to socialism.”

“I will hold my nose and vote for McCain because…”

“I don’t like everything McCain wants to do including the 700 Billion ‘bailout’ mess this administration has pushed Congress to giving. My thought for you is to keep pushing for conservatism and vote for McCain in spite of his recent actions.”

“I am not a big fan of John McCain, but he is certainly a far better than the alternative of voting for Obama.”

“I understand your dilemma. I can’t stand McCain either and it really does seem like we have a choice between a full-on socialist and Democrat Lite.”

“I don’t like McCain either. He, too, is a socialist. He’s not anywhere near as bad as Obama, but a socialist nonetheless. Having said that, I find that my vote for McCain will be a pragmatic one.”

“I have no use for mccain either but will vote for him because a vote for barr or paul or baldwin or daffy duck by a right leaning person is a vote for obama.”

“If I lived in Maryland or any other lock state, I would protest vote for libertarian. But I live in Florida, and plan to vote McCain.”

“You HAVE TO VOTE FOR MCCAIN. I am not happy with McCain at all – I was going to vote for Chuck Baldwin but I have changed my decision. B.O. is too dangerous…”

“Since having Obama as our president would be the greatest wrong for this country I for one am voting for McCain which would be a vote against Obama.”

“I understand your quandary. McCain was far from my first choice. We’re down to a choice between a less-than-perfect GOP candidate, and a disastrous Dem.”

“I wish I could truly vote my conscience but for once I don’t believe I can take the chance that my vote won’t be necessary to stop Obama.”

“McCain is not my favorite either, but…McCain is the best we can do right now. Hold your nose if you must and vote for McCain.”

“McCain is not a conservative, but his losing will mean disaster for America AND conservatives now and forever into the future. With McCain we at least live to fight another day.”

“John McCain sucks as a conservative, but he will only be in office for eight years max.”

Again, these were all PRO-McCain notes! Good grief. No wonder the GOP base is so depressed and everyone’s talking about the “enthusiasm gap” between McCain and Obama.

What does this mean and what might it portend for next Tuesday night?

Well, it means that while a lot of Republicans will be voting for John McCain, they won’t be doing so with much gusto. That means many grassroots soldiers aren’t out walking door-to-door for him, they aren’t stuffing envelopes for him, they aren’t making phone calls for him and they aren’t encouraging their friends, neighbors and co-workers to vote for him.

And according to Political Diary, McCain’s own home state of Arizona is now in play!

On the other hand, the Obamamaniacs’ are operating on steroids.

Yes, a miracle could still happen, but don’t bet your foreclosed house on it.

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Outreach. He may be reached at: chuck@citizenoutreach.com.

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